Essays and Commentary
Leslie Cheung Foreshadows his own Suicide
OK, it was a little disturbing to watch INNER SENSES, which ends with Cheung standing on the edge of a building, ready to kill himself, when you know that less than a year later that is precisely what he did. But looking at his cinematic output as a whole, it seems as if his roles have almost pre-programmed him to come to such an end. I've never seen such a collection of morose, suicide-obsessed individuals as the ones he has played throughout his career.
Posted by Peter Nepstad on March 16, 2005.
There is a constant debate about the effects of entertainment media on impressionable viewers. But what about the effects on the actors performing it? After all, any actor worth his or her salt would embrace every role whole-heartedly, get inside the character's head, and understand the character's "motivation." Once you realign your inner compass to your character's compass, then your acting lifts off. So what happens if you keep playing morose, suicidal characters? Now perhaps, almost certainly, he was drawn to these characters because they best reflected who he was: his agent was able to put roles on his schedule that he could be successful in. But doesn't constant re-affirmation of the darker parts of your consciousness cause these things to be written indelibly on your soul? The question before us is simple: is the life and tragic death of Leslie Cheung a case of life imitating art, or art sublimating life? I don't know, and can't begin to answer. The evidence lies before us:
Teenage Dreamers (1982): Starry-eyed Drama student studying for the lead role in ROMEO & JULIET.
Nomad (1982): "Every time I look at a samurai sword, it reminds me of suicide."
Little Dragon Maiden (1983): Abused and misunderstood, eventually falling off of a cliff.
Chinese Ghost Story (1987): In love with a beautiful dead person. Goes to Hell for that person.
Days of Being Wild (1990): He can't love anyone, eventually just disappears (to the Phillipines).
Farewell My Concubine (1993): An actor who plays a beautiful heroine who ends her life throughout her career. When he is jilted by his lover, takes his own life, like his character.
Happy Together (1997): No, they're not. An attempt at emotional renewal somehow fails, only the crashing noise of the great Iguazu Falls seems to have the answers.
Double Tap (2000): Psychologically disturbed individual that needs counseling.
Inner Senses (2002): Counselor trying to help a suicidal girl who sees ghosts. In the end, he is standing on the edge of a building, ready to jump.
April 1, 2003. Leslie Cheung jumps from a window of the Mandarin Oriental hotel, and died shortly afterwards in Hospital. He left a suicide note and was experiencing "emotional difficulties." "In my life I have done nothing wrong. Why it has to be like this?" the note reads. He was 46 years old.
Leslie Chueng die in the hospital?
But he leap from 24 floor , he still can be alive?
Can anyone tell me more about this and send to my e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
if you jumped off the 24th floor of a hotel wouldnt you have died already???i dont think theres time to rush him to the hospital...because your face would probably be crushed and also your boned would break big time......plus he died on april fools day doesnt that make people think???and i saw somewhere that someone said that leslie cares alot about beauty wouldnt he have thought of a way to kill himself without damaging himself?like maybe take a pill or something like that so he wouldnt damage his beautiful face....i also dont think that much people have the guts to jump off the 24th floor of a building......even if it was leslie that jumped wouldnt he have maybe been forced to do it???or did someone push him down???was it realy suicide?why did people want him to rest in peace soo soon??it makes me wonder but i hope people will find the answer someday and if its true Leslie Cheung I Hope You Rest In Peace And Your Legend Will Continue
he tried to commit suicide with sleeping pills before on November of 2002.
I watched "Farewell My Concubine" last night. It changed me in some ways and felt connected to the character... Sad to know Leslie ended up his life so early... I wonder what lies behind the deep depression he felt that lead to that tragic death...
Gah, how sad. Naturally this ties right in with the whole Heath Ledger thing but perhaps it goes right to the heart of acting. Are the actors who become subsumed by their roles better than those who are not? To be honest, I would say no.
Which actually makes it even more of a damned shame.
So far as jumping 24 stories and surviving (briefly) to die in hospital, odder things have happened. It all depends on how he landed and how tough his body was. I hear this myth all the time; people saying, "well the fall killed her". Likely he experienced the entire fall and it's aftermath what with broken bones and massive ruptures and all that. Poor fool.
I agree with Cookiesstephy's post.
I still a little sad about loosing someone who had good looking, smiling, cute (when he was about 30+), and unforgetable face. He is my fave until now.
About Inner Sense, I haven't seen that. But there is onething keep floating in my head. Did Lesli suicide? or Did Lesli murdered?
He was an excellent figure for me. He had all what I am dreaming of. Rich, famous, and being adored by almost people in the world. He had somany friends whom always be there if he wanted too. Why he chose to end his life? I bet if I were him it never been in my head.
Or, he was murdered? By someone who disliked him. To take over his place in some film role maybe, or pushed by thief who sneaked in to his room.
Or, he was pushed mentally by his sorroundings? Teror etc.
Left by our lover, doesn't mean doing suicide. Stupid Leslie.
By this post, I would like to annouce that if we are able to help each others, there will be no mentall breakdown, the worst, suicide. Thank you.
"Once you realign your inner compass to your character's compass, then your acting lifts off. So what happens if you keep playing morose, suicidal characters?"
that's why actors shouldn't skip the step & training to get out a character when a shoot wraps -- just as they originally prepared to get into it. it's especially important if you make a living from it: you must discipline your craft/technique. from what i know, leslie was the instinctive type who didn't emphasize on technique much.
It's the superficialties of how people talk behind others backs. Of how often the suave, beautiful or cool looks often cloak a complex seething psyche of a highly sensitive person. But then again it doesn't matter, because people that can act very good are also highly empathic. I think it is not at all surprising that he killed himself. The rewards underpace the punishments that life has to offer. You can never meet up to what others think of you and you pay the price when the film industry rumor mill chews you up and spits out a worthless husk.
its plain and simple a shame. talented, befriended, but depressed. Everyone needs a shoulder sometimes, please dont deny your friends or loved ones, after all, it would have only taken one friend to stop a jump...
Leslie remains as one of my favourite actors, though he has passed away for some years now. It is ironical to think he had chosen this way to end his life, as no one could feel what he was going through, though he had a steady boyfriend Tang with him.
Been through this as well, sometimes the one you love hurts you the most and momentarily, you just want to take your own life. Luckily, I managed to pull myself out of this vicious cycle of depression and survived. My relationship had improved and my son has also grown. But Leslie did not wait out long enough for the bad patch to be over.
As an encouragement to others who are going through a similar situation, I hope that they hang in there as "even this shall pass." Be it happy, sad or difficult moments, they shall pass.
I didn't believe that Leslie committed suicide. Not until now. Is there any proof that can make us believe he was so depressed?or someone forced him to write it to get something from him or pushed him from the building.No further investigation about his death?
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